Summit County’s ranchers and skiers don’t often see eye to eye, but when it comes to the weather they are kindred spirits. This month, both have their eyes turned skyward hoping for precipitation.
The ranchers aren’t quite as fussy about how that precipitation is delivered. Rain or snow would be just fine. Skiers, however, are keeping their fingers crossed for the kinds of low temperatures that turn rain pellets into featherweight flakes of powder.
Either way, the past several weeks of blue skies and balmy afternoons are making everyone a bit irritable.
Preseason Winter Anxiety Syndrome (PWAS) is not a new phenomenon. It has afflicted northern Utah residents for decades, even at times inspiring governmental intervention. The Park City Council, for instance has been known to draft ordinances demanding snowstorms. But it is unclear whether the ensuing blizzards were in response to their order or just something that’s bound to happen sooner or later in November in the Rocky Mountains.
This season’s growing epidemic of PWAS, though, seems to have an added symptom a low-grade fever attributed to fears of irreversible global warming. Never mind that the record-breaking snow years of the 1980s were preceded by several scary drought years, or that Park City Mountain Resort almost always had to scramble to make snow for the Thanksgiving World Cup openers. This year, the nail biters are at it again. The ones who raise livestock are worrying about whether there will be enough water to irrigate their fields. And the skiers are wondering if they’ll be able to test-drive their new gear before Christmas.
If we were to dispense a prescription for PWAS, it would be to chill. Gaze at a few pictures from last winter’s stellar ski season, put a fresh coat of wax on the boards, and do some leg-strengthening exercises. It wouldn’t hurt, though, while global warming is on your mind, to take a few small steps toward lessening your own carbon footprint so your grandkids won’t have to worry whether it will ever snow again.
Park City Mountain Resort and The Canyons have postponed their planned openings this weekend, but as this is being written the blue skies are turning ominously gray and we have no doubt the lifts will be running soon.
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In a new court filing, Summit County says Hideout should be held in contempt of court for violating previous court orders, referring to the town’s actions as “sinister,” “machinations,” and as “wolves in sheeps’ clothing.”